One Afternnon Exploring the Algarve Hidden Gems

A privilege I've never acknowledged growing up was the fact that my home was the paradise on earth that the Algarve is. Maybe because when we live in a place we never fully explore it, maybe because I had to move away to fully appreciate the quality of life the region provides us. Nowadays I see myself eager to come back every month. Away from Lisbon, I find my peace in this little corner of the Atlantic and I want to stop using the 'I can explore the region whenever I want because I live here' statement as an excuse to never do so. 

For my mum's birthday, we took the afternoon to explore 3 of the most beautiful places the region has to offer but that we never got around to visit before. These places are located in the central part of the Algarve between Lagoa and Portimão. If you want to visit them you absolutely need a car to go from one place to the other, being that public transportation in the Algarve is pretty much non-existent. It's completely possible to visit all 3 places in one afternoon and even though these are all near the ocean I would pick these places as more of a walking location rather than a place for a relaxing time at the beach, for that reason and because during the summer these places tend to be packed I would recommend visiting them on a sunny autumnal day rather than doing so in the force of Summer. 


Ferragudo is a small fishing village in the municipality of Lagoa, it's beautiful cobalt streets, whitewashed houses, and beautiful flowers make you feel like you suddenly took a trip to a Greek Island. Ferragudo is surrounded by the river mouth of Rio Arade and the Atlantic Ocean, from the village you can see the skyline of Portimão and many fishing boats. You can visit Igreja da Nossa Senhora da Conceição a church that works as a viewpoint to the beach. Something to be aware of is the fact that during high-tide the water reaches the streets and things get slightly flooded so be aware of that when picking what shoes to take.

Must-do in Ferragudo:

  • Drink a cocktail by the river and fully enjoy this little piece of paradise;
  • Get lost in all the little streets, this is the absolute best way to fully explore the village;
  • Cross the bridge to the other side of the river and take in the view of Ferragudo from the other margin;

Praia da Marinha

Praia da Marinha was considered by the Michelin Guide one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in Europe and one of the top 100 on the planet. Part of the municipality of Lagoa, Marinha beach is like the most dreamy scenery. A little beach surrounded by nature and with rocks taking over the Atlantic it's a place where land and sea come together and create magic. 
Honestly, I wouldn't recommend Praia da Marinha to spend a day at the beach, especially in the force of summer because the sand space is tinny (due to COVID restrictions, this year, the beach had 15 people limit capacity), however, if you want to go for a hike in the middle of nature, this is the place to go, especially if you are visiting the Algarve and you want to visit such a famous location.

  • There are a few picnic tables that overlook the beach, I would 100% recommend you bringing a little picnic basket and have lunch near the ocean, super romantic and for sure one of the best ways to fully take in the view;


Senhora da Rocha

How on earth did I not know this place existed?! One of my mum's friends said she would really like to visit Senhora da Rocha for the first time during our little adventure so we made it the last stop of our day. And oh boy was it a good thing we did! We got there just around golden-hour and we could take the place in its full majestic beauty.
Part of the municipality of Lagoa, Senhora da Rocha is nothing but a little church built on a rock, literally, in the middle of the ocean. The church is super small and has a little corner filled with beautiful blue painted Portuguese tiles, a window filled with seashells that have lovers names written on them (pretty much like lockers on Ponts des Arts in Paris). Either you are religious or not this place is magical and a must include on your itinerary when visiting the South of Portugal. 

Best time to visit: 

  • Even though I have never been here before and it was slightly busy, I would still 100% recommend that you visit this magical place around sunset time. The golden-hour colours, mixed with the beach behind you, the sound of the waves hitting the rocks, and the immense view to the horizon where the ocean meets the sky honestly made experiencing this place my favourite place I've visited the whole day.

Lagoa has many more beautiful places to offer, but these were the ones I got around to visit in one afternoon. I think it's a good idea to bring little travel guides to the table that can actually be helpful if you are planning to visit and you have a limited amount of time, instead of showing you everything the Algarve has to offer in one post. I hope you liked this post and that you are enjoying getting to know the Algarve a little better. 

Location: Lagoa, Algarve, Portugal 
Photography: Ana Teresa Pessoa 

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